Dick DeVos has made the lists of some of America’s richest entrepreneurs and is from the famous DeVos family that founded Amway Corporation and owns the controlling shares of the NBA’s Orlando Magic. While his business accomplishments are no small thing, it’s his philanthropy that has had many people raving over the years. Dick’s wife Betsy DeVos is the former chairperson of the Michigan Republican Party, and with her background in promoting private schools and school of choice public policy, President Donald Trump chose her as Secretary of Education. During the confirmation hearings for her cabinet position, the DeVos’s revealed that their gifts to the Grand Rapids community and national non-profits totaled over $139 million with only a part of that money going to political candidates.
Private schools and scholarship funds have been the primary target of Dick DeVos’s philanthropy, and the Dick & Betsy DeVos Foundation has been the supporting arm. Scholarships supported by the foundation include Education Freedom Fund and Children’s Scholarship Fund which partnered in providing grants to families. In the later years Dick and Betsy DeVos started focusing more on opening charter schools to the public, and eventually they brought on a team of educators to start their own at the Gerald Ford Airport known as the West Michigan Aviation Academy. They are also trustees of the Thunderbird School of Global Management, Northwood University and Calvin College.
Other beneficiaries of the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation‘s $139 million are art museums and institutes, Mars Hill Bible Church, hospitals, civic committees and political think tanks. Grand Action committee has received funding from the foundation and Dick DeVos has served as Chairman. Through this committee the city of Grand Rapids has seen a lot of new commercial building projects and even sports venues constructed. Politically conservative organizations funded by Dick DeVos include Hudson Institute and Heritage Foundation, and he also supports the ArtPrize competition through The Windquest Group.
Dick DeVos has been married to Betsy DeVos for many years and has raised four children over those years. He grew up in a strong entrepreneurial background with his father Richard DeVos Sr. having founded Amway Corporation, a multilevel marketing company that has empowered individuals to start up their own businesses through reselling their products. Dick was a manager, vice president and later CEO of Amway. During that time Amway grew its reach into 50 new countries and increased sales into the billions of dollars. Dick and Betsy DeVos run The Windquest Group, a company that started out as an investor in profitable green energy solutions but has since become a holdings company in retail, restaurants and technology companies. The Windquest Group also funds the West Michigan Aviation Academy and Huron Ventures.